Creative Ways to Recruit Talent - Pokémon Go, Hidden Ads & Viral Video Campaigns

StaffOnDemand Blog

A Danish IT company (Prosys) recently raised eyebrows for its unusual attempt to fill a vacancy.

In need of a telemarketing employee and hoping to leverage on the massive success of Pokémon Go to help lure the right candidate, the firm then posted the job opening on Facebook, with an interesting twist - Potential applicants can collect part of their 25,000 kroner (~US $3,725) monthly salary in pokecoins that can be used in the popular game, Pokémon Go.

Prosys is searching for a fresh young telemarketing employee – salary is paid partially tax-free in Pokémon Go coins and Powerballs

- Prosys Facebook Ad

The company’s CEO, Lasse Jurek, says that the Pokémon Go offer was meant to make the company “stand out”.
“We thought it was a fun gimmick to try a Pokémon Go angle [to reach] the 18 to 25-year-old target group,” he said.
Jurek said that whoever gets the job can naturally opt to be paid in real money rather than the virtual currency, but he thinks the untraditional offer might appeal to the right candidate.
“We can see that kids, youth and adults play the game all over the world. So we thought that if that is what’s needed [to attract an employee], then we should try it.I don’t play the game myself but I’m pretty certain that my kids would like it if I had some of my salary paid out in Pokémon Coins.”

Check out some of the other creative recruitment campaigns that pulled out all the stops to attract talents!

Finding Talents Through a Crossword Puzzle

In what could otherwise be known as a recruiter's ultimate nightmare, the British military intelligence had a tall order to fill against a ticking timeline - Set up a team of highly intelligent people to break the supposed unbreakable Enigma machine code and win the war.

Given the nature of the job, it could not fit in a regular job ad description (e.g. Job scope: "Break the unbreakable Enigma code") and determining the skillsets required for the job would seem near impossible.  However, the stakes are extremely high, as failing to recruit the right talent would mean inevitable defeat and colossal damage in the war.

By finding a parallel in the traits of a codebreaker and a crossword puzzle fan, the recruiters then devised an elegant solution to attract, and assess the talents concurrently by holding a crossword puzzle competition in The Daily Telegraph newsroom (which publishes  crossword puzzles regularly in their paper).And as one  like to say, the rest is history (as we know it).

The same sort of lateral thinking, and persistence in making links between the clues to make intelligent guesses on the answers is perfectly distilled by the recruiters as the core skillset required for the job, and the 'recruitment ad' is then brilliantly translated into a crossword puzzle.


The idea of using seemingly uncorrelated, alternative assessment methods such as this tournament is catching on fast in Japan and adds an unexpected twist to the recruitment process!

Could you complete this in 12 minutes?

Could you complete this in 12 minutes?

The search for the World's Greatest Salesperson

Great sales personnel are hard to come by, and the Kingpin of advertising, Oglivy, executed a world-wide search for the very best in the trade by kickstarting an aptly-named campaign, "Oglivy's World's Greatest Salesperson". The challenge? Share a video of you selling the ever humble red brick. Along with the campaign, Oglivy took humourous stabs at sales strategies and reinforced their repute as the very best in selling (regardless of what the product is) by sharing the personal rags-to-riches story of their founder, David Oglivy.

And here's the winner of the campaign and his pitch to sell you the brick.

The humble brick is transformed to a revolution, the critical element to realizing every dream and vision - The title is certainly well-deserved!

Cryptic Billboard

The very best in recruitment have often shown an uncanny abiity to laser in on the target group of jobseekers and communicate directly with them in a manner that appeals to them. One such brilliant example, is Google's cryptic billboard. In 2004, Google put up a grand billboard in the heart of Silicon Valley, which had nothing but a mathematical puzzle. The puzzle answer resolves to a URL (, where they get their second challenge. On completion, the message below appears:

“Nice work. Well done. Mazel tov. You’ve made it to Google Labs and we’re glad you’re here. One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.”

Cost of finding absolutely brilliant minds? A cryptic billboard and a site with a string of seemingly random digits.

Ikea's Secret Job Description

The Swedish Giant cleverly concealed job descriptions inside every pack of furniture sold. The campaign cost nothing - customers literally delivered career information to themselves, and it resulted in 4285 applications and 280 new hires, who are naturally fans of the company and are familiar with their products. Simple yet so effective and best of all, costed nothing. The delight and surprise from their customers (even if they are not interested in applying to work with Ikea) generated much fanfare and interest in the ingenuity of the recruitment campaign, which in turn helped spurn the applications.

Singapore Navy Uniform

The Singapore Navy sent out special direct mailer packages to a select group of receipients, which contained a crisp white Naval Officer's jacket, complete with medals and decoration. The life-sized uniform could be held up and the recipient would be able to visualize how he would look like, as a Naval Officer. A creative message that calls to the imagination of the recipient, the Singapore Navy cleverly leverages on the powerful association of the awe-inpsiring and respected uniform to attract its future talents. A business reply card is coyly placed in the breast pocket, inviting the recipient to take the next step in choosing the Navy as his calling.




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